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Together with Fundación BBK we present the social and environmental sustainability measures for the 2024 edition.

This morning, together with Fundación BBK we presented the social and environmental sustainability initiatives for the upcoming edition scheduled on July 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2024.

The festival and Fundación BBK collaborate each year to reduce the event’s environmental impact and enhance its positive influence on social, cultural, and economic aspects. They aim to integrate sustainability through innovation, creativity, co-creation, inclusion, and equality, launching various initiatives within and beyond the venue, involving people, the city of Bilbao, the region of Bizkaia, and the planet.

Our Kobetamendi Venue

The natural park of Kobetamendi is a privileged space that welcomes us each year. Our main goal is to minimize the festival’s impact on the environment. Therefore, for the third consecutive year, improvements have been made in the ground conditioning for attendees. It is estimated that we will reduce water consumption by 40% thanks to the switch from the previous sanitary facilities to a more efficient water recirculation system.

The gradual elimination of plastics is becoming a reality. The main stage, Nagusia, will be lined with wood. The San Miguel stage will be decorated with a scale-like composition made from a biomaterial based on bagasse and algae. Each scale, manufactured individually, covers an area of almost 100 m2. The manufacturing process of these scales generates zero waste, leaving a positive carbon footprint. The front of the Txiki stage will be made with wool from the Carranzana sheep, emphasizing the use of local natural materials and supporting the development of this material that was recently considered waste. With this wool, after the festival ends, various garments will be made.

The real stars, the people!

We aim to make the festival experience as memorable as possible, and this involves actively engaging attendees in our social commitments. Here are the actions that contribute to and shape our purpose-driven festival:

  • Continuing financial donations to the Food Bank aligned with Last Tour’s purposeful projects.
  • Rainbow Point, providing support and information about the LGBTQ+ movement and its advocacy groups fighting for diversity and equality.
  • Inviting Third Sector entities to the festival to raise awareness and support their social inclusion efforts.
  • Collaborating with the Down Syndrome Foundation of the Basque Country to support the socio-labor integration of individuals with disabilities.
  • Violet Point, aligning with various institutional campaigns against sexist aggression and harassment, and activating protocols aligned with the festival’s security plan.
  • Continuous improvement in platforms for access by individuals with reduced mobility, including adapted services and transportation.
  • Healthy catering services offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for those with celiac intolerance.
  • Gradual implementation of a green and social procurement policy internally and with suppliers.
  • Use of cashless systems to streamline processes and facilitate payments at the festival.
  • Implementation of a system to record actions related to the improvement process outlined by our BCorp certification.

The great Bilbao, our festival city

The festival is an active part of the city before, during, and after the event. Our goal is to collaborate with and support the local economy, enrich the cultural landscape, and create an ecosystem of partnerships.

The festival works closely with neighborhood associations in Altamira, San Gabriel, and Monte Caramelo, adjacent to Kobetamendi. We strive to involve all local hospitality venues in these neighborhoods. Additionally, we collaborate with artists during the neighborhood festivities, such as ‘Altamira en Pucheras’ in October and the celebrations in the San Gabriel neighborhood in September.

On June 1, the Bilbao BBK Live festival celebrated HIRIAN, ‘in the city’, in the neighborhood of Rekalde, extending beyond its traditional July dates and location at Kobetamendi. This initiative, by Fundación Industrias Creativas [Creative Industry Foundation] in collaboration with Bilbao BBK Live, underscores a commitment to music, culture, and diversity. It’s a social project aimed at creating a unique experience that transcends the festival’s boundaries, becoming a catalyst for social change and cultural enrichment, adding value to the community with free access to encourage participation from all residents.

Since the 2011 edition of Bilbao BBK Live, music has also echoed through various points in the urban area during the festival’s three days, featuring free-access concerts for all audiences under the program BEREZIAK.

A region and Bizkaia to support it

A tradition and a welcoming community for Bilbao BBK Live, centered around cultural development, purpose, and values. It embodies an intergenerational, diverse, inclusive, sustainable, and committed vision.

On June 15, we took ‘HERRIAN’, ‘In the village’, to Sondika, hosting a festive and cultural day with free live music.

This year, we also launched the Basoa Bizi Project, supported by the City Council of Balmaseda, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Basoa Fundazioa, and Bilbao BBK Live festival. This initiative aims to raise awareness about forest conservation, wildfire prevention, and contribute to reforestation efforts in the area affected by the October 2022 fires. BASOA BIZI has conducted tree plantations with school children, organized talks, guided mountain tours, created educational materials for schools and social media, developed a forest ecosystem and fire prevention decalogue, and is working on measuring and offsetting carbon footprint, among other activities.

One planet and many lands to inhabit and thrive

Our commitment to using environmentally friendly materials, renewable energy, promoting sustainable mobility, reducing waste, offsetting emissions, and raising environmental awareness is central to our mission.

In terms of mobility, we prioritize encouraging the use of public and organized transport to minimize vehicle use. Each year, we focus on continuous improvement, promoting sustainable travel through initiatives like:

  • Irteera Kobetamendi, encouraging attendees to walk to the festival grounds.
  • We optimize logistical operations for efficient transportation routes.
  • Optimizing the number of contracted buses using a pre-booking system.
  • Widespread use of biofuel in the transportation provided by the festival organization.

The energy supply is managed through collaborations and partnerships aimed at improving energy efficiency and gradually reducing dependence on fossil fuels, while efforts in measurement and documentation propose gradual improvements. Key points:

  • The gradual reduction of CO2 emissions to accelerate the festival’s energy transition towards zero emissions.
  • Optimization of the number and usage of generators involves utilizing state-of-the-art, low-emission models.
  • Energy efficiency measures are implemented for optimized electrical distribution according to current demand at each festival venue.
  • Adaptation of energy supply for a just transition includes partnering with a multi-energy provider to innovate in registration and information, studying the integration of renewable generation, storage, grid connection, and behavioral changes throughout the festival’s energy supply chain.

Promotion of selective waste separation, recycling programs, and waste reduction is a longstanding practice at Bilbao BBK Live in collaboration with the City Council of Bilbao. Measures adopted include:

  • Implementation and continuous improvement of a system for reusable and recyclable cups.
  • Ongoing enhancement of waste containerization plans, prioritizing internal waste generation and coordination with all suppliers through the Green Team.
  • Training for bar and catering staff on waste reduction and recycling.
  • Training for cleaning teams on selective manual waste separation.
  • Procurement of colored and transparent bags for different types of waste in hospitality areas.
  • Monitoring and training of suppliers in the catering zone to ensure proper waste separation.

Other equally important measures involve adopting a circular approach where material reuse is key. Here are some examples: Reuse of 10,000 m2 of artificial turf from the El Fango football field in Rekalde. Use of vegetative coverings around much of the festival perimeter, later reused or composted. Reuse, consolidation, and reduction of over 90% of signage infrastructure and scenic elements from previous editions. Gradual elimination of micro-perforated canvas use on stages, etc.

We work year-round to uphold transparency and continuously improve our practices. This commitment is certified by labels such as Erronka Garbia – Sustainable Event by Ihobe of the Basque Government. Since 2023, we also operate under the standards of BCorp certification, ensuring that the festival adheres to high standards of social and environmental impact.